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conditioningKonditionierung (ger.)

  • The training or accustoming of a person or animal to give conditioned responses. (OED 2012)
    learning conditioned reflex

    [Der Grundcharakter des psychischen Versuchs ist […] seine Unbeständigkeit, seine offensichtliche Launenhaftigkeit. Indessen wiederholt sich das Ergebnis des psychischen Versuchs unzweifelhaft ebenfalls, sonst könnte von ihm nicht die Rede sein. Folglich liegt alles nur an der größeren Anzahl von Bedingungen, die auf das Ergebnis des psychischen Versuchs im Vergleich zum physiologischen einwirken. Es handelt sich also um einen bedingten Reflex.

    Pawlow, I.P. (1903). Experimentelle Psychologie und Psychopathologie bei Tieren (Sämtliche Werke, vol. III/1, ed. by L. Pickenhain, Berlin 1953, 9-21): 14; cf. id. (1936). Der bedingte Reflex (Sämtliche Werke, vol. III/2, ed. by L. Pickenhain, Berlin 1953, 532-549).]


    [All such disturbances of habit — superfluous and useless conditioned reflexes — may be found to date back to some primary stimulus (possibly to sex trauma, exposure, masturbation, etc., in childhood) which is the conditioning cause operating just as the electric shock given jointly with a visual stimulus operates in forcing the visual stimulus finally to release a group of responses which, until the current was applied, brought none of them.

    Watson, J.B. (1916). Behavior and the concept of mental disease. J. Philos. Psychol. Scientif. Methods 13, 589-597: 592-3.]


    Steps taken to condition emotional responses are shown in our laboratory notes. The infant […] was tested with his blocks immediately afterwards to see if they shared in the process of conditioning.

    Watson, J.B. & Rayner, R. (1920). Conditioned emotional reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology 3, 1-14: 4.

    Conditioning=The process of acquisition by an animal of the capacity to respond to a given stimulus with the reflex reaction proper to another stimulus (the reinforcement) when the two stimuli are applied concurrently for a number of times
    Thorpe, W.H. (1951). The definition of some terms used in animal behaviour studies. Bull. Anim. Behav. 9, 34-40: 39.
    Statements which use such words as ›incentive‹ or ›purpose‹ are usually reducible to statements about operant conditioning
    Skinner, B.F. (1953). Science and Human Behavior (New York 1956): 87; cf. Ringen, J. (1976). Explanation, teleology, and operant behaviorism: a study of the experimental analysis of purposive behavior. Philos. Sci. 43, 223-253.

    conditioning The process of modifying the behaviour of an organism such that it responds to a given stimulus with a behaviour pattern normally associated with some other stimulus when the two stimuli are applied concurrently for a number of times.

    Lincoln, R.J., Boxshall, G.A. & Clark, P.F. (1982). A Dictionary of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: 54.